Questions tagged [poetry]

This tag should be used on questions about poetry in general or about any specific poem. Please use this tag with the appropriate author tag, and, if applicable, the language tag (such as [french-literature].

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1answer
1k views

Is there any significance to Blake's choice of the name Lyca?

The twinned poems "The Little Girl Lost" and "The Little Girl Found" from William Blake's Songs of Experience (available to read online) are about a little girl called Lyca who gets lost from her ...
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1answer
871 views

In the poem “Alone” by Tomas Transtromer, what is the significance of the two parts and how do they relate to each other?

The poem appears to consist of two parts that are very different from each other. Here is the poem:     I One evening in February I came near to dying here. The car skidded sideways on ...
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1answer
943 views

How to scan Robert Frost's “For Once, Then, Something”

I just read a fascinating blog post titled "Frost, Hendecasyllabics & For Once, Then, Something". The blog post describes the challenges of scanning Robert Frost's poem "For Once, Then, Something" ...
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891 views

What do these lines in Edward Thomas's 'This is No Case of Petty Right or Wrong' mean?

Than in the storm smoking along the wind Athwart the wood. Two witches' cauldrons roar. From one the weather shall rise clear and gay; Out of the other an England beautiful And like her mother that ...
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2answers
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Why does the narrator in “Stopping by Woods” stop by the woods?

In Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Frost: Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with ...
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2answers
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How is William Carlos Williams's affection expressed in “The Red Wheelbarrow”?

In the poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams, there is no specific mention of any person. However, he wrote that the poem "sprang from affection" for an old man named Marshall, to ...
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146 views

Who is being referenced in the opening line of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”?

The first stanza of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" goes like this: Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping ...
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3answers
171 views

Looking for poem in which sleep is as great an equalizer as death

There was a poem on the 2015 AP English Literature and Composition exam multiple choice section that I only barely remember. The topic was along the lines of "sleep is as great an equalizer as death" ...
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1answer
132 views

Poem with A's and T's representing Ford model A's and T's in traffic

I'm looking for an English poem, in fact I think it was at least two poems, that consisted of capital A's, representing the Ford Model A, moving as if in traffic, and another that had both A's and T's....
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140 views

What is the literal meaning of this line in “Birches”

I was reading "Birches" by Robert Frost. I am having difficulty in understanding the meaning of a part of a line. Please refer to this link for the full poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/...
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1answer
589 views

What is original Persian poem of Rumi for the following English version?

Does anyone know the Persian text for the below poem of Rumi ? The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/472665-the-garden-of-the-world-has-no-...
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What exactly is the “No Ordinary Sun”?

The poem "No Ordinary Sun" by the Maori poet Hone Tuwhare is about a tree's reaction to some kind of deadly threat, the titular "no ordinary sun". Addressing the tree in the second person, the poem ...
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102 views

Why is God a “harshener”? What does this mean?

In Robert Hayden's poem "The Ballad of Nat Turner", the word "harshener" appears twice in reference to God/Jehovah: In scary night I wandered, praying, Lord God my harshener, speak to me ...
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1answer
37 views

Have Kenneth Muir's poems ever been published as a collection?

Kenneth Muir (1907–1996) was an eminent and very productive Shakespeare scholar. Wikipedia has a short article about him that leaves out many lesser-known facts: he directed a number of plays, ...
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What's the point of the sandy beach in “A Dream Within a Dream”?

The main thrust of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "A Dream Within a Dream" concerns the existential angst of the narrator, and his fear that "all that we see or seem" is nothing but "a dream within a dream". ...
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Who is the 'one who had lifted it' in Shelley's sonnet about 'the painted veil'?

In Shelley's famous sonnet, which begins 'Lift not the painted veil', the "turn" is placed - unusually - in the seventh line. Lift not the painted veil which those who live Call Life: ...
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103 views

Meaning of capitalized nouns in a Lord Byron poem

I am in reference to Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (see: wikipedia article). Here is the opening stanza of the work (TO IANTHE): Not in those climes where I have late been straying, ⁠Though ...
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Why a sorrowing heart is called as “Sultan” and a stone heart is called as “burial site” in this verse of Saint Kabir?

I came up to this verse of great Indian poet Saint Kabir बिरहा बुरहा जिनि कहौ, बिरहा है सुलतान। जिस घटि बिरह न संचरै, सो घट सदा मसान॥ This page gives the English translation of that verse as Do not ...
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38 views

In Maya Angelou's “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, what is the meaning of “His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream”?

Here is the stanza: But a caged Bird stands on the grave of dreams His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream His wings are clipped and his feet are tied So he opens his throat to sing What is ...
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100 views

Is Hemingway's poem entitled MITRAILLIATRICE or MITRAIGLIATRICE?

I read -- a few months ago -- Hemingway's juvenilia poetry & short-story collection stoically entitled Three Stories & Ten Poems. It was published in the early 1920s -- I think 1923, but I've ...
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Is there some cultural significance in the “chhanna” or metal bowl?

The Punjabi poem "Chhanna, the Metal Bowl" is about a "flat-bottom metal bowl" which is apparently some kind of family heirloom, "filled with memories". What's so special about a metal bowl? Is it ...
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1answer
125 views

The meaning of the poem “Be Different to Trees”

I'm studying the poem "Be Different to Trees" (1924) by Mary Carolyn Davies: The talking oak To the ancients spoke. But any tree Will talk to me. What truths I know I garnered so. ...
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Is there a name for poems where each verse is a time period?

I'm having a hard time finding examples of this, but I found one by a man named Darryl Davis, called Almanac of a man, that goes like this: When I was five, I was supreme ruler of a boundless ...
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60 views

'meter' vs. 'rhythm': How do their meanings in poetry differ from those in music?

'meter' and 'rhythm' are termed in poetry and music. So what are their parallels? Their differences? Source: Listening to Music (2013 7 ed, but ∃ 8 ed) by Yale Prof. Craig Wright: [p. 463] meter: ...
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390 views

What metaphor(s) are represented by the mysterious figure in Charles Causley's “Innocent's Song”?

The other day, I came across this rather sinister poem by Charles Causley, set to music. Innocent's Song Who's that knocking on the window, Who's that standing at the door, What are ...
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254 views

Who said “Poetry is the art of giving different names to the same thing”?

Over on Skeptics, Laurel found some partial information in a quote from Mathematics as a culture clue and other essays: I once quoted that mot to a poet, and got the quick response: "Poetry is ...
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178 views

What form of poem is “A Child of Mine” by Edgar Guest?

What form of poem (ie. sonnet, limerick, haiku, etc.) is Edgar Guest's "A Child of Mine?"
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145 views

Is there a name for version of trochaic tetrameter with lines of 8|7|8|7 syllables

Is there a name for the meter used in Clementine: Drove she ducklings to the water Every morning just at nine Struck her foot against a splinter Fell into the foaming brine or in Schiller's ...
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964 views

Does the poem 'In Just' (e. e. cummings) allude to innocents being led astray by the devil?

In the poem in Just, (1) the balloon man whistles and children come running. On the surface, this could simply be about a man selling balloons and children wanting to buy them. But we know that e. e. ...
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141 views

How is the connection between the picture on page 59 and the last line of “Allison Beals and Her 25 Eels” shown in other publications of the poem?

"Allison Beals and Her 25 Eels" is a poem in Falling Up by Shel Silverstein. It describes how Allison uses 24 eels -- as shoelaces, earrings, ladle, etc. The 25th, however, is different. The poem ends ...
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2answers
1k views

Looking for an English-language poet whose name rhymes with Stowe and who lived in the time of Stevenson or earlier

My friend is composing a poem, and for a rhyme's sake she needs the name of an English-language poet whose name rhymes with Stowe and who lived in the times of R.L. Stevenson or earlier. I came up ...
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4answers
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Who is the falcon, and who the falconer?

In Yeats' greatest of poems, he writes that "the falcon cannot hear the falconer." Who is the falcon and who is the falconer? Why might Yeats have chosen this metaphor? The Second Coming ...
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2answers
777 views

What is Robert Frost 'owning' in these lines?

I read the poem "A Roadside Stand" by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
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2answers
173 views

What does it mean to peer from a dewball?

In Ted Hughes' "Crow and the Birds", the lines before the ending read: While the bullfinch plumped in the apple bud And the goldfinch bulbed in the sun And the wryneck crooked in the moon ...
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2answers
141 views

Does translation take away from the meaning of verse and poetry?

I am currently reading The Heart of Haiku by Jane Hirshfield. In it, many examples of haikus translated from Japanese are given. However, in their English form, they lack the rhythm and meter of Haiku....
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90 views

What does “radium” mean in Confessions of a Born Spectator by Ogden Nash?

The fourth line of the last stanza (stanza 6) in the poem "Confessions of a Born Spectator" by Ogden Nash is: Buy tickets worth their radium What does 'radium' mean here? What does the ...
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1answer
125 views

Does “the” only serve to preserve metre in “The Tyger”?

William Blake's poem “The Tyger” from Songs of Experience utilizes "the" in an interesting manner in two separate couplets of the 4th stanza, lines 9 and 11: What the hammer? what the chain, In ...
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2answers
250 views

What do these lines mean in Tennyson's poem “Northern Farmer - Old Style”?

What does But summun ’ull come ater meä mayhap wi’ ’is kittle o’ steam Huzzin’ an’ maäzin’ the blessed feälds wi’ the Divil’s oaän teäm. mean in modern English?
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1answer
438 views

Does anybody know who wrote this poem, or where it is from?

I saw a poem on my friend's desktop background on his laptop, and took a screenshot of it because I thought it was cool. In fact, it was a poem. Does anybody know who wrote it, or where it is from? ...
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1answer
591 views

Meaning of this line from “Birches”

I was reading "Birches" by Robert Frost. I am having difficulty in understanding the meaning of a line. Please refer to this link for the full poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44260/...
3
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1answer
556 views

Difference between “Ode to” and “Ode on”?

We sometimes see Ode to and sometimes Ode on. Do these both mean a poem written about something? I am a new literature student.
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1answer
155 views

What is the metre of this poem by Emily Bronte?

I really like the following poem by E. Bronte: High waving heather 'neath stormy blasts bending, Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars, Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending, ...
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1answer
64 views

Thomas McElwain as Ali Haydar?

On this website of translated Turkish poetry, a traditional hymn of sacrifice from a Turkish Alevi village is included in its English translation, with a note at the top signed "Ali Haydar", although ...
3
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1answer
831 views

What is the tone of “Spring” by Gerard Manley Hopkins?

Here is the poem "Spring" by Gerard Manley Hopkins: Nothing is so beautiful as Spring– When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush; Thrush’s eggs look little low ...
3
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1answer
150 views

How many Elizabethan or Jacobean manuscripts of Shakespeare sonnets have come down to us?

When Thomas Thorpe published Shake-speares Sonnets [sic!] in 1609, the sonnets (or at least a subset of them) had already circulated in manuscript for some time. Francis Meres already mentioned these ...
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1answer
206 views

Meaning of “I'm almost three-score” in “The Idiot Boy” by Wordsworth

From Wordsworth's The Idiot Boy: And now she's high upon the down, And she can see a mile of road, "Oh cruel! I'm almost three-score; Such night as this was ne'er before, There's not a ...
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1answer
486 views

Usage of the word “spheres” in “A Noiseless Patient Spider”

I do have an idea of what Whitman is telling in the last stanza and the whole poem but what confuses me is the usage of the word "spheres" in the second stanza of "A Noiseless Patient Spider". A ...
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1answer
421 views

Explain the third stanza of Donne's “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”?

This is the third stanza of John Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning": Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did, and meant; But trepidation of the spheres, ...
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1answer
1k views

What does T. S. Eliot mean in the poem The Hollow Men when he ended it with “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper”?

I once read a poem "The Hollow Men" by T. S. Eliot. The poet ended the verse like this: This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a ...
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1answer
2k views

Explain “If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you”

In Kipling's poem IF, there is this line: If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you To achieve that, it seems you would have to be so closed off, insulated, and emotionally barricaded that ...

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